Tylorstown 27 Penarth 22: Match abandoned after 54 minutes

THIS game was halted after 54 minutes as referee Paul Richards was unable to continue having sustained an Achilles tendon injury, but what a fascinating contest was unfolding before it was brought to an abrupt halt.

The result does not stand, as 60 minutes’ play had not been completed and the fixture will need to be rearranged, but we’d already seen both the good and bad sides of this young Penarth side and the coaches still have plenty to get their teeth into.

The opening minutes were dominated by home possession, but such was the quality of the Penarth tackling that the hosts simply never got beyond the ten-metre line. After ten minutes everything changed as a Tom Smith break brought play up to the home 22. Having cleared to half-way from a 5-metre scrum, the Tigers felt they’d weathered the storm, but Spencer Robinson simply took the ball from a scrum and ran it into the far corner from there.

There then followed a classic post-score lapse of concentration from the Seasiders as sloppy defensive organisation allowed a huge overlap and the Tylorstown no.5 went over in the corner. Penarth eased back in front with a Smith penalty after 20 minutes, but the Tigers came back with a second try ten minutes later.

A move came from deep with a clear but unpunished case of crossing and the home left wing made 40 metres down the flank before being well tackled on the line. Without support, the ball was available for the Penarth defenders, but no advantage was taken and the Tylorstown outside-half arrived to pick up and score.

The Seasiders then entered a purple patch and looked as if they might take control of the game before half-time. They were soon back in the home 22 and winning a penalty. Trailing by only two points, the posts seemed to be the right option, but Robinson tapped it quickly, beat two defenders and put Rhys Beynon in at the corner.

With three minutes to go before the break, it was all Penarth. Leading 10-15, they were soon back in familiar territory in the Tigers’ 22 with Robinson again in possession. The defence was all in place and all exits covered, but this presented no problem for the lofty scrum-half who, with a couple of changes of direction was under the posts with no-one being entirely sure how he’d got there.

Tylorstown nevertheless still had time to pull the score back to 15-22 before the break as two outrageously forward passes punched holes in a static Penarth defence.

Within only four minutes of the restart, the Tigers had drawn level as they patiently worked an overlap and the full-back scored out wide. Penarth seemed undeterred and should have gone into the lead again as great work from Robinson and Mortimer won a turnover and the resulting line-out was driven into the home 22. Ball worked wide, but as Tom Smith looked for all the world as if he’d secured the bonus-point try, the referee disagreed and declared ‘held-up’.

The pace of the game simply never let up and as the Tigers’ outside half completed a stunning score with a blistering continuous acceleration from a missed tackle on his own 10m line, the injury to Mr.Richards brought a scintillating contest to a premature end.

The Seasiders now welcome second-placed Cowbridge to the Athletic Field on Saturday hoping to repeat the five tries they scored in the away fixture without conceding the eight the hosts managed on that occasion.

Penarth: Tom Smith, James Crothers (George Roberts), Owain Lord, Rhys Beynon, Ben Hill, Kevin Maddox, Spencer Robinson, Sean O’Sullivan, Mason Good, Ryan Jones, Harrison Pugsley, Nathan Frost, Josh Spragg, Chris Mortimer, Rhys Morgan (capt).